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Video Interview with Ton


thumb.jpgThe following video interview was made by the Netherlands National News Agency. I think Ton says some interesting things in there about the movie that I hadn't thought of before. It's also a nice chance to get a peek at his workplace where all his Blender work takes place! The interview is in Dutch so I wrote a translation; it shouldn't be too hard to follow.

To play the movie you'll need Windows Media Player. Open it from the 'Modem/ADSL' link on this page. I found that on a Mac, you have to copy this url, open Windows Media Player and open the URL using File>Open URL.


Shrek, the Incredibles and Ice Age: Animation movies are very popular at the moment.

Ton Roosendaal has proven that creating such a movie doesn't have to cost millions. Together with experienced video artists from the Netherlands and abroad he made this short animation movie, Elephants Dream.

It didn't require extremely expensive studios nor an army of computer specialists to create these images. Roosendaal used his 3d design tool Blender for this job. Blender is free and can be downloaded from the internet, just like the movie.

Elephants Dream is the first Open Movie, meant to further develop Blender.


Afbeelding 22.pngEveryone can show it on TV, you can cut it to pieces and re-edit. But that's not all: the entire database and all the technical files of the studio have been made public so you can recreate the entire movie and add new scenes etcetera.


Although the movie shows great animation skills, it also receives much criticism. The most often heard remark is that the storyline of the movie is unclear. Roosendaal is not worried about that: everyone can interpret the movie in his own way.


Of course, people think 'Oh, this is a free movie and I can download it, so it's probably a funny Tom and Jerry like creatures that do funny things.'

No, it is actually a very difficult movie. It is about people who create their own reality and because of that get into a conflict with each other.


Not only the content, but also the title of the movie is mysterious: 'Elephants Dream'. And there's not a single elephant in the movie.


Afbeelding 4.pngOur first title was 'Machina' (machine). After a while we thought it was boring and then I told the crazy story of Dutch parents who make up a crazy story for their children when they go to bed that they never know how to finish. Instead, they simply say 'and then came an elephant with a large trunk and he blew the story away'. That's how elephants came into the discussion and someone mentioned 'Elephants Dream'. And that became the title.

Should Walt Disney start using Blender to produce their movies?


No, that's not important to me at all. Of course Hollywood is very interesting and it's sexy to do business with them, but it's not really my goal to get Blender in Hollywood. What I hope to achieve is to get Hollywood in Blender.

Blender is a very democratic product that is downloaded by millions of people every year, and we would like those people to get access to the technology and the tools that are used in Hollywood.


Roosendaal and his team worked on the movie for seven months. Elephants Dream cost € 150,000 to produce and was financed by the presale of the DVD. You can download the movie for free from

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. God spoke!
    But I didn't hear him myself; I just read the prophet's transcript!
    (The broadcast stopped after a couple of seconds...)

  2. Note that if you use the "steam content" function of VLC, you can have it write the stream to a file on your hard disk. Good to see this. I'll present it maybe at my film festival this fall.

  3. Nice interview :P.. 3 hurray's to Ton

    Hip Hip... Hurray... Hip Hip... Hurray... Hip Hip... Hurray... Hip Hip... Hurray...

    (4... ok... :P i has never good at math :P) he deserves it :)

  4. Nice interview, though I don't speak holland and had to resort to the transcript.

    Oh, and also: I don't want to be a pedant, but it should be "for free from" instead of "from free from" (last sentence) ;)

  5. Ok, Elephants Dream is a great movie, Blender is my favourite (and only) 3D app... but...
    Elephant Dream is less than 9 minutes long, was produced in 7 months, it had a small team behind... and it's final price was 150.000€.
    So how one can assert that "Ton Roosendaal has proven that creating such a movie doesn’t have to cost millions."? All is in the right direction, but some sentences are far behind the reality of what we have now, I think. ;-)

  6. Renato Perini: You make a pretty good point, but keep in mind that the Pixar animated short "Boundin'" took 10 months to create, and was only 5 minutes long. ( Unfortunately, I couldn't find information on it's budget, and I didn't search to see how large the crew working on it was, though I'm relatively certain it was probably twice the size of the Orange team. ;-) )

  7. I don't think the software is the most expensive thing about a CG movie. Yes, it is expensive, but I think the Hardware and foremost the Panpower (good Animators/Artists) are the most expensive resourcce.
    Well, that's just my guess. Prove me wrong.

  8. Elephants Dream is a fantastic movie and Ton is a really nice person (I've met him at the Blender conference in Amsterdam).
    The Blender program has changed my life, my way of thinking. I am Working with Blender since version 2.36 and sometimes I just burst into laughter when I achieve something new with the program.
    Ton Roosendaal deserves a statue.

  9. Well daggum! Lets argue about it! :)
    I doubt he would want a statue, he'd probably rather have the extra money and effort put into Blender. ;)

    Thanks for the transcription, guys.

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